De-colonizing the Historiography and Archaeology of Ancient Egypt and Nubia. Part 1. Scientific Racism

In: Journal of Egyptian History
Author: Uroš Matić1
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  • 1 Institut für Ägyptologie und Koptologie, Westfälische Wilhelms Universität Münster
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The process of epistemological de-colonization of the historiography and archaeology of ancient Egypt and Nubia has begun unfolding only in the last two decades. It is still set in the context of descriptive disciplinary history with little reflection on and criticism of background theories and methods. As a consequence, some of the old approaches and concepts live on in the discipline. Utilizing the concepts of “thought collective” and “thought style” (sensu Ludwik Fleck) this paper analyzes previous works on ancient Egypt and Nubia written in the colonial discourse. Three key ideas run like threads through these works: 1. scientific racism, 2. socio-cultural evolution, and 3. colonial and imperial discourse. In this paper the emphasis will be put on scientific racism, its development, and its remnants in the archaeology and historiography of Egypt and Nubia.

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